Hyundai, Kia Pay $41 Million for Overstated Fuel Economy Ratings

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Hyundai and Kia have agreed to pay $41.2 million to resolve an investigation by 33 states over misstated fuel economy ratings.

In 2012, the Korean automakers readjusted fuel economy numbers for around 1.2 million vehicles after announcing that a “procedural error” in their testing operations led to overstated ratings. Although ratings on the affected 2011-2013 model year vehicles went down around 1-2 mpg, Hyundai made it clear in a statement that it admits to no wrongdoing or violation of laws.

“Even with our adjusted ratings, we are encouraged that Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance,” said Hyundai CEO David Zuchowski in a statement this week.

Models affected by the fuel economy issue included some vehicles that were originally rated to hit 40 mpg on the highway, including versions of the Elantra,  Accent, Veloster, Rio, and others. Hyundai’s reputation was built on these high ratings in a time when gas prices were persistently high.

The resolution brings an end to a long legal process that has haunted the two automakers. In 2013, Hyundai and Kia had to pay $350 million in a settlement with the EPA and Department of Justice. The automakers also reimbursed owners for the additional cost of fuel associated with the change in EPA ratings.

Source: Hyundai, Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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